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Evaluation and Treatment of Constipation

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints in the United States. It afflicts approximately 1 in 6 individuals and is responsible for approximately 2.5 million physician visits each year. More than $400 million is spent annually on over-the-counter laxatives; at least 120 of these products are available. The management of constipation includes patient education about bowel function and diet, behavior modification, drug therapy, and infrequently, surgery. Revised 1/2012

Topics: Constipation, difficult to pass stools, Fact Sheet

About the Author

  • M. Scott Harris, MD

    Georgetown University School of Medicine; Middleburg Consultants, Washington, DC

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